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Notki z tagiem ‘Samantha Tonge’

How to Get Hitched in Ten Days by Samantha Tonge / eBook Review

08 lut

How to Get Hitched in Ten Days by Samantha Tonge

 

 

 Publisher: Carina

Publishing Date: 11th February 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 96

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

 Synopsis:

HOW NOT TO GET THE GIRL…

Meet Mikey, every girl’s best friend – he bakes the creamiest cheesecake, loves movie nights and is a great dance partner.

For Jasmine, Mikey is the perfect flatmate – he owns a 50s diner that turns out the best food around, gives the best bear hugs and amazing romance advice – after all they’re scoping out the same hot guys! So when her boyfriend proposes in the worst possible way, Jazz knows her best friend will be there to pick up the pieces with gourmet popcorn, Pinot sleepovers and a shoulder to lean on.

But Mikey isn’t about to let Jasmine give up on love, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to mend her broken heart – even if it means helping the one person who sees him as the enemy…

Because at the end of the day, all’s fair in the pursuit of true love… right?

Rating: 3/5

 

The first thing I must say is that I immediately fell in love with the title of this short story – „How to Get Hitched in Ten Days” – it’s brilliant, isn’t it? Secondly, I didn’t know at first that it is a novella, I was expecting a full – length novel, so I was a little surprised when I discovered it’s not the case this time but I also thought, no matter, the main thing is, it is by Samantha Tonge, so let’s start reading!

And as soon as I started reading, I felt very confused. You know, I didn’t read the synopsis very thoroughly (I though I don’t have to. I mean, it is Samantha Tonge’s book, right, so I am for sure for a giggly fiesta of a great story) and I thought that Mickey is a girl (I know. I KNOW), and at the beginning I really wasn’t sure if he’s a girl or a boy. It made my reading this little bit more confusing and difficult. But it was my mistake, nothing to do with the author. Then each chapter is told either from Mickey, or Jazz’s points of view, and yes, the chapters are titled with the name of the character, nevertheless, I more than often didn’t know who the „I” is, especially when I had to put this book down for a moment or two and then came back to reading – it took me always a minute or longer to realise who is the narrator (and before you say it, I don’t like turning the pages back on kindle).

Unfortunately, I also had a problem with the characters. I just couldn’t care less about them. Jazz was a spoiled, whiny diva, drama queen and everything must have been centred around her. Dave was awful, he had no idea what his girlfriend likes or wants and he was always in a bad mood and blaming everybody for his own failures and misfortune, and I was thinking, what’s up actually? What kind of boyfriend are you, if you really don’t know about your girlfriend’s likes and dislikes? Mikey… Well, Mikey couldn’t be more clichéd if we asked for, I think.

Altogether, I am a little disappointed with this short story because I have expected so much more from it and I’ve already read better novels by Ms Tonge. Sure, it had it’s moments, and it was a very nice story about friendship and trust, but this time it didn’t deliver for me. On the bright side, it is written in this lovely, funny, light – hearted and easy to follow way, it was fast – paced and – as usual – had some brilliant food in it! I also didn’t see this twist coming and it took me by surprise, I was thinking that maybe Mikey will turn out to be not gay at all or something like this (which would be a disappointment, so brownie points for Samantha for not changing his orientation at the last moment :) ), really not seeing this what came and slapped me in the face. Which was in some way sweet. (Not slapping. The twist). So altogether, if you are for a quick, easy read and you love Samantha’s exceptional sense of humour as much as I do, don’t hesitate and read „How to Get Hitched in Ten Days”.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2016 Releases, Rating 3/5

 

Christmas Countdown… with Samantha Tonge

01 gru

So guys, let’s the fun begin! Today me and Suze are opening our first Advent Calendar doors – and will do so till Christmas! Let us surprise you with many wonderful guests, funny Q&As and LOTS of giveaways – that are open internationally!!! Have fun and come back later for more!

Our first guest today is the one and only Samantha Tonge, author of bestselling novels such as Doubting Abbey, Mistletoe Mansion, Game of Scones, My Big Fat Christmas Wedding, and believe me, one os better than the other! Welcome, Sam!

1)      What’s your best Christmas memory?

Watching the children open their presents when they were small, their faces lighting up – nothing quite beats those magical moments.

 

2)     What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

I loved Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe by Rebecca Raisin, she creates such a cosy set of characters… but I really haven’t read much festive fiction over the last year or two, as December is the one time of year, more than any, that I don’t do much reading – I am so busy promoting my own Christmas book and then things get busy with preparing my family celebrations.

 

3)     If you could choose one person, dead or alive, to celebrate a one time special Christmas with, who would you choose and why?

It would be my mum who passed away over ten years ago. I miss her every day and wish she could have seen me become a published author. I would love to talk to her about the children, to hear her laugh one more time and, more importantly then anything, enjoy one of her very special hugs.

 

4)     What are your thoughts about Santa?

I think Santa is a very hardworking, selfless, cheery, thoughtful person who can teach us all a lot about Christmas spirit and how we should try to carry it thought the whole year.

 

5)     What are your best and worst Christmas gifts and why?

Best? Just to have a few chilled, quality days with my family – we are all so madly busy the rest of the year it is great to spend a lot of relaxed time together.

Worst? Bailey’s Cream. I was once VERY ILL after drinking a little too much of it J

 

6)     Your favourite Christmas song?

Anything by Michael Bublé – he has such a smooth voice.

 

7)     Your favourite Christmas movie?

It’s not strictly Christmas but can I have New Year’s Eve with Ashton Kutcher and Zac Efron? The stories within it are soooo romantic and heart-warming.

 

8)     Top 3 books that you’re giving as Christmas presents?

Ooh, if I had to choose 3 top books it would be The Fault in Our Stars, Twilight and something by Lucy Diamond!

 

9)     Most favourite and least favourite part of Christmas?

Favourite? That full, after-dinner feeling when you have eaten lunch, the hard-work and preparation is done and everyone can just sit down, chill, watch telly, play board games or chat. Heaven.

 

10) I must ask, sorry – the best Christmas food is…?

Please don’t ever apologise to me for talking about food J Even though I am, at heart, a chocoholic, the best Christmas food for me is a cold turkey and stuffing sandwich, accompanied by a glass of chilled white wine. Yum. I cannot wait!!

 

GIVEAWAY!

Courtesy of Sam, we are giving away one signed PB copy of „Mistletoe Mansion”!!! (Why, oh why can’t I enter my own giveaways??? – You’ll probably be hearing this sentence very, verrrry often).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bio

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it’s a dog. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Her summer 2015 novel Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart.

Links

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaTongeAuthor

Website:
http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

 
 

Weekly Wrap Up #67

17 paź

Hi there. So it seems that Saturday evening is now my time to post my Weekly Wrap Up. It’s this time of the day when the little one is in bed, hubby is watching football and I. Have. A. Spare. Minute. So there.

It was a slow week reviews – wise, and I’m guessing why – I have to write a negative review and I was doing everything to put it for later. But – it was a fantastic, brilliant week when it comes to books post. I have got tons of books – me and the publishers probably wanted to make up for the very disappointing Ninja Book Swap parcel :), but exceptionally I won’t be listing them today.

I was also extremely happy to have some great authors on my blog this week. As first Fleur Smithwick has exclusively revealed her plans for her new novel: here , then on the publication day of „My Big Fat Christmas Wedding” we had the lovely Samantha Tonge answering our questions: here and last but not least, the debut author Jackie Kabler has written a brilliant Guest Post about keeping her characters under control – you can read it here .

BOOKS THAT I READ LAST WEEK:

„My Big Fat Christmas Wedding” by Samantha Tonge – reviewed

„The Twelve Dates of Christmas” by Lisa Dickenson – to be reviewed on 20th October

„The Soldier’s Wife” by Pamela Hart – to be reviewed on 21st October

„Bella’s Christmas Bake Off” by Sue Watson – to be reviewed next week

 

  Am reading right now:

„The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas” by Carole Matthews

„Merry Mistletoe” by Emma Davies

 

I REVIEWED THIS WEEK:

Four Weddings and a White Christmas by Jenny Oliver 3/5

My Big Fat Christmas Wedding by Samantha Tonge 4/5

 

BOOKS I RECEIVED/BOUGHT THIS WEEK

KINDLE:

Rebecca Raisin „The Little Bookshop on the Seine”

Catherine Ferguson „Mistletoe and Mayhem”

Carmel Harrington „Every Time a Bell Rings”

 
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Napisane w kategorii Weekly Wrap Up

 

Q&A with Samantha Tonge

15 paź

The lovely Samantha Tonge‚s new book, „My Big Fat Christmas Wedding”, is out today, and please be sure to treat yourself to a copy – it’s a great story, entertaining and just the right dose of seriousness, and I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it! I did – and you can read my review of this novel here.

As a special treat, I have a Q&A with Samantha herself for you today!

 

1. Hi Sam, and warm welcome to the blog! Can you please tell us shortly about your new, gorgeous novel „My Big Fat Christmas wedding”?

Hi Agi, thanks for having me here again! It is the standalone sequel to my bestselling summer novel Game of Scones. Pippa is not sure if she’s hearing wedding bells or warning bells in her head, and must decide if she really can leave behind the glitz of London, for a seaside life on the Greek island of Kos. Really it’s a story about love and self-discovery.

 

2.  Why such an inspiration in Greece?

I have always thought that Greece is very romantic – the sunsets, sipping ouzo on the beach, string music in the background… To my mind some of the quieter areas of the island offer the perfect antidote to the hectic lives many of us live near or in cities. And a large part of my Christmas story is about Pippa’s attempt to leave behind the rat-race and whether the fantasy of that can become a happy reality.

 

3. Sam, I love your specific humour that often leads us to unexpected, unpredictable situations – where do you find your one – liners and ideas?

Thank you Agi, and good question! I don’t know. From a young age I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh, and I think that came from having a mum, dad and granddad with great senses of humour. It must be the Irish blood in me! I also think it is a very British thing to laugh through the hard times and make self-deprecating jokes. Humour is a huge part of British life.

 

4. You are a great user of Facebook and Twitter – how important are those media for you?

Extremely important for me as a digital-first author – in the first instance, my books aren’t visible in shops so I need to find readers via other routes. I am lucky in that I really enjoy social media, and the added bonus of “working” on there is that I meet some wonderful people like you. I find Twitter particularly good for connecting with readers. I have also recently discovered Instagram. It’s a miracle that I ever get any actual writing done!

 

5. Your way to publishing was a rocky one – can you tell us a little about it? And never losing hope, too? :)

Yes, I started writing in 2005 and landed my deal with CarinaUK in 2013. There were many disappointments and a few tears along the way, but I thank goodness now that those first novels were never published. I started to write short stories and eventually sold over 80 to women’s magazines – that gave my writerly ego a much-needed boost and helped me cope with the novel rejections. The support of my family kept me going too. My advice to any aspiring author is to never give up. Hard work will get you there in the end.

 

6. What is so special about Pippa that you decided to write a second book about her?

I think she represents many people nowadays – life is hectic and stressed. I think many of us secretly long to leave the rat-race behind, and in my opinion the perfect fantasy to fulfil that is moving to a sleepy, Greek fishing village and going back to the simple things.
I also love Pippa because she has a strong moral compass, is feisty and very kindhearted. She would make a great best friend!

 

7. And is she going to bake again???

Oh yes! Lots of yummy festive scones with stollen and port flavours. She also starts baking Cornish pasties (a savoury English speciality from Cornwall).

 

8. What is your favourite recipe?

The port scones drizzled with dark chocolate. Ooh, and festive ginger baklava also sounds delicious. Yum!!

 

9. Sam, what are your plans? What are you working on now? (You are always posting such mysterious status on FB!!!)

Ha, ha, yes sorry – I do love teasing J I am currently working on a spring book for Carina. I can’t say too much, accept that it is written from the point of view of two best friends – a man and a woman. He is adorable and tries to mend her broken heart. There. I’ve already said too much!

 

10. Which one of your books’ covers do you like most? Is it possible at all to prefer one to the other?

Ooh, no, it is like having children – you love them all equally but for different reasons! I particularly loved the happy, sunny feeling that shone out from the Game of Scones cover – so cheerful. And I love My Big Fat Christmas Wedding because it looks so romantic and sparkly!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it’s a dog. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Her summer 2015 novel Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart.

Links

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaTongeAuthor

Website:
http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

AmazonUK:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Big-Fat-Christmas-Wedding-ebook/dp/B00XAFSXFG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1444041016&sr=1-1&keywords=my+big+fat+christmas+wedding

AmazonUS:
http://www.amazon.com/My-Big-Fat-Christmas-Wedding-ebook/dp/B00XAFSXFG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases

 

My Big Fat Christmas Wedding by Samantha Tonge / eBook Review

15 paź

My Big Fat Christmas Wedding by Samantha Tonge

 

Publisher: Carina

Publishing Date: 15th October 2015

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley,  thank you!

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Things don’t always run smoothly in the game of love…

As her Christmas wedding approaches, a trip back to snowy England for her ex’s engagement party makes her wonder if those are wedding bells she’s hearing in her mind, or warning bells. She longs for the excitement of her old London life – the glamour, the regular pedicures. Can she really give that all up to be…a fishwife?
There’s nothing for it but to throw herself into bringing a little Christmas magic to the struggling village in the form of a Christmas fair. Somewhere in amidst the sparkly bauble cakes and stollen scones, she’s sure she’ll come to the right decision about where she belongs…hopefully in time for the wedding…

My Big Fat Christmas Wedding is the standalone sequel to Game of Thrones, perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk and Debbie Johnson. Don’t miss the Christmas Wedding of the year!

 Rating: 4/5

 

„My Big Fat Christmas Wedding” is Samantha’s fifth book, if I’m not mistaken, and I must say that I am watching with pleasure how Ms Tonge is finding her own place, voice and style in the chick – lit world. Her writing style and sense of humour make her outstanding and already so quickly recognizable, and when starting to read her novel I am sure I am for some crazy situations, awkward moments, laughing out loud moments and tender situations as well. This novel is a continuation of „Game of Scones”, that was published only in April this year, and follows the adventures of Pippa and Nico – it is stressed that this book can be read as a stand – alone novel – and yes, it can – but I think that reading „Game of scones” first would be a great idea.

Samantha often touches very current global problems in her books, and this time, as it is set in Greece, on Kos Island, there are mentions about refugees. But, to be totally honest, and yes, I know it was needed for the plot, I’m not sure if it was, at present tempers, the best move – of course it depends on the reader’s views on refugees. It’s just, it’s all so sad and tragic, and in the books I’m reading I’m not necessary looking for political issues being mentioned. So there, that was me, telling. (UPDATE. Oh dear. After I finished writing this review I’ve spotted a discussion going on Sam’s FB profile, where she was so thankful for a review praising her writing about the refugees, and mostly people do applaud her on this decision. Yes, I do realise that some may say that in this current situation one can’t write a book based on Kos without a reference to the refugees, but I’d say, yes you can – I have my daily dose of those dramatic situations on the TV and magazines, and when I’m reading a women’s fiction I’m looking for relaxation. But of course kudos and hats off to Samantha for still putting this in her story. And I don’t want to start a whole new debate – I respect other people’s opinions and I hope that some will respect mine.) But opinions aside, this part of the book sat perfectly and fit the story.

But oh my, this book is so much more than the actual political situation!

It was really great to be back on this beautiful island, full of community spirit – even if the moods were a little at rock bottom because of the economical situation. But ha! Why do the villagers have Pippa there? Exactly! To help! I love Pippa and her enthusiasm, it is never – ending, and I love her spirits, she’s not the one to be quickly demotivated. But. This time, the sex – god Niko has played on my nerves and with my patience a little. I mean, Samantha has brilliantly captured his personality, this of a proud, independent young Greek, but there were moments I so badly wanted to shake him and tell him what he’s going to lose if he’s going to behave this way. I was absolutely team – Pippa this time, and I was desperate with Niko, who was seeing things that didn’t take place. Arrgh, Niko… Maybe it is because I myself moved thousands kilometres from home, following my heart, and I could put myself into Pippa`s shoes, I could easily imagine her quandaries, concern, anxieties and the things she could have been missing – it is not as easy as it sounds, to move far away from your home and things that you’ve already been taking for granted that are suddenly not available any more. On the other hand, Pippa had a wonderful boyfriend who would gladly make all her wishes come true even before she thought about them, so seeing him so aside, not knowing any people at Henrik’s engagement party was really sad. They both needed some re – think, I’d say.

This chatty, lovely, warm, easy writing style becomes Samantha’s hallmark. It really feels as if Pippa was sitting next to you and was telling you the story herself, and I have immediately felt at home with the characters and the story progressing. Yes, this book was a little slow starter but nevertheless, the pace was only right and Ms Tonge really know when she should add a twist or two to pump up the tempo. Moreover, she writes in a way that make you feel all kind of emotions while reading, from sadness to happiness, from uncertainty to relief, and this all with this characteristic, dry humour.

But if you think that the things are going to be oh so smooth for Pippa and Niko, than oh no! There is a lot happening in this book, a lot of will they/won’t they, with one of them changing their minds, and you truly can’t be sure how this story is going to end. Oh yes, you know how you WANT it to end, but Ms Tonge’s plotting and twisting doesn’t make it so obvious. Also, with every book, Samantha’s character are better and better, they just grow on you, they are warm, friendly, and truly realistic, and to be honest, being again in Pippa’s company was a great joy – the same as being in the taverna, with other characters, and even seeing Henrik brought a smile to my face (even though he is like enigma to me, this Henrik – I couldn’t really follow him this time, he has moved on from Pippa into Olivia very quickly, even though his intentions were not so clear, and altogether, this time I really couldn’t truly get him.). Pippa has a heart made of gold, and even with her wedding coming soon (or not???) she finds time to care about not only villagers and their businesses, but also about strand dogs, and I think this is why I love her so much. She is unselfish, lovely person and she always put other people before herself.

Even though I was more fond of the English version of Christmas, with all the wonderful descriptions of London, the Greek Christmas had a lot of charm as well. It was different to this what I know and it’s always great to learn about new things or traditions. And because of the „Cocksucking Cowboy”, if any of the brides – to – be are planning their hen – dos in Greece, could you please take me with you? And of course we can’t forget the scones! I thought that Pippa has already championed herself in „The Game of Scones” but this time she really topped herself, and only reading about those flavours, smells combined with the Christmas spirit in the book made me hungry and I can’t wait for Christmas to come!

I have a very strong feeling that Samantha Tonge is only starting to warm up with writing those witty, warm romances, full of brilliant characters, wonderful settings and hilarious situations and one – liners. And this is great – keep them coming, Samantha! „My Big Fat Christmas Wedding” is a truly lovely, witty read with some important issues added to it, and I have spent few really entertaining hours in the company of those lovely characters and twisty plot. It’s a novel with a heart that for sure is going to put you in the festive mood already.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases, Rating 4/5

 

Weekly Wrap Up #46

03 maj

BOOKS I RECEIVED THIS WEEK:

PAPERBACKS:

Rosanna Ley „The Saffron Trail”

Kerry Fisher „The Island Escape”

Naomi Williams „Landfalls”

Kate Furnivall „The Italian Wife”

Rosamund Lupton „The Quality of Silence”

And some books for Sophie’s Shelf:

Jaz Alborough „Hugo the Hare’s Rainy Day”

Shirley Hughes „Alfie and Grandma”

Mini Grey „Hermelin the Detective Mouse”

Don’t have to tell you that we are both equally excited :)

BOOKS THAT I READ THIS WEEK

„Single Woman Seeks Revenge” by Tracy Bloom – reviewed

„Runaway Summer” by Ruth Saberton – reviewed

 

Am reading right now:

„The Sudden Departure of the Frasers” by Louise Candlish

„June Jenson and the Shield of Quell” by Emily Harper

 

I REVIEWED THIS WEEK:

Game of Scones by Samantha Tonge 4/5

Single Woman Seeks Revenge by Tracy Bloom 5/5

Runaway Summer by Ruth Saberton 5/5

Wellies and Westies by Cressida McLaughlin 4/5

Don’t forget you can win a book of your choice in May Giveaway ! And tomorrow we’re back with our Book and Cover of the Month and some exciting Blog Tours are coming up as well! See you all next week!

 
 

Blog Tour: Game of Scones by Samantha Tonge / eBook Review

27 kwi

Game of Scones by Samantha Tonge

 

Publisher: Carina

Publishing Date: 20th  April  2015

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A story of icing and flour…and how love doesn’t always go to plan!

Growing up, Pippa Pattinson’s summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. There she spent many long hazy days determinedly ignoring thoughts of the life her parents had mapped out for her (a dreary-but-secure banking job and obligatory sensible husband!) Instead she daydreamed of running her own tea shop – serving the perfect scones –with mocha-eyed childhood friend Niko by her side…

Arriving back in Taxos for the first time in years, with suave boyfriend Henrik, Pippa barely recognises the tired little town – but is relieved to catch glimpses of the quaint, charming village she’s always loved. Together Niko and Pippa put together a proposal to save Taxos from tourist-tastic ruin, and at the heart of their plan is Pippa’s dream project – The Tastiest Little Tea Shop in Taxos. It’s time for Pippa to leave her London life behind and dust off her scone recipe that’s guaranteed to win over both locals and visitors. And amidst the rolling pins and raisins, it seems romance is blossoming where she’s least expecting it…

If you’re a fan of Lindsey Kelk or Lucy Diamond then don’t hesitate to step into Samantha Tonge’s truly delightful tea shop.

Rating: 4/5

 

„Game of Scones”. When Samantha Tonge announced the title of her new book on Twitter, my first thought was: genius. Pure genius. I love the title with all my heart, and then came the beautiful, colourful, so summery cover, and the blurb. I mean, a book about scones, about eating – could there be anything more exciting? The right answer is, of course, NO. At first I of course thought, scones and Greece, how does it fit? But no worries, Samantha Tonge has took care of all the things to work brilliantly together.

Pippa and her boyfriend Henrik are going on three – weeks holidays to Greece, small town of Taxos, in Kos, where Pippa has spent many of her summers when she was younger. She, of course, has made a lot of friendship there, especially with one family who runs a taverna, and with their son Niko. Pippa’s biggest dream used to be to run a little teashop on the island, that would be selling scones of course, as baking scones is her hobby, her breathing space after her very demanding job…
It doesn’t take long to bump into Niko, now a handsome Greek – God, and it is as if they have seen each other only a day or two before, as they kick off immediately. Unfortunately, there is Henrik now keeping his eye on his girlfriend, and Niko is engaged to the lovely Leila…
After arriving to Greece Pippa immediately sees that Taxos is not the same place that she kept in her memory, it’s not this thriving, lovely, jolly place with many tourists. Moreover, Henrik’s firm want to invest on the island, together with the mayor of Kos, but are those investment really the ones that Kos needs? Are they going to help the island or rather destroy it, and its natural beauty? Can Pippa perhaps help? But how?

You know, I’ve never been to Greece before, but this book has just made me long for holidays there. To pack my bag, jump on a plane and fly to the blue see, white buildings, sun and… oh yes, maybe I will encounter Pippa’s scones as well? Would love to give them a try one day.

Pippa was a lovely, impulsive girl but she never walked away when she’s seen people in need and that there is hope, that she could help. I liked her from the very first scene when she was considering pros and cons of staying with her boyfriend Henrik, and the way she coped with the problems: by baking scones. I so understand her. Baking makes happy, this could be our life – motto. I really liked how Pippa was emerging from her shell that she closed herself in in London, how she slowly realised what and who is really important. She proved she is independent and courageous.
And those two, Pippa and Niko, they were just… oh so swoon together… They teamed up so good, they had so many shared memories, and I so wanted them to be together FOR EVER but how??? Pippa with Henrik and her work in London, Niko with Leila in Greece… No happy end for me? Well, you must read for yourself and see. The chemistry was so palpable, it was sizzling between them, and it was as if the nine years that they were apart have never happened, they started where they finished.

And yes, it was Henrik who was planning on changing Taxos into your everyday tourist destination with all the attractions that you can find everywhere, he and his company, but altogether, he was not this bad guy here in the story. He just did his job, and he – I am sure of this – loved Pippa. He was maybe not one of the most romantic people in the world, but was also not the worst one. But let’s be honest, in comparison to Niko, well, who would have chosen Henrik over Niko? Exactly. Me too. Niko, moody and broody, but so, so lovely, and like a typical Greek, putting his family on the first place.

Samantha has created a bunch of colourful, vivid characters in the story, and the way they were fighting for their town, to survive the recession and to have a future was just spot on and they all just so grow on me. There is such an incredibly community spirit and it was a great joy to see how many of them were developing, how they discovered hidden talents and ideas only to save their beloved little town. And you know what I adored in this book? That the characters were not wallowing in self – pity, oh no, when the decision was made, they were immediately starting to Act. With a big A. Jab, jab, let’s not ponder too long, just roll up the sleeves and get cracking! I absolutely love this approach. Absolutely. Maybe because I am a total opposite, and my mantra is: what you could do today, do tomorrow.

I adored Taxos, this little town, not spoilt (yet) by the mass tourism. I’d rather travel there to experience all the attractions that the villagers after the brain storming had in offer, than few kilometres further to eat some cheeseburger that has nothing to do with Greece and its traditions. The descriptions of the island, they were incredibly beautiful and felt so realistic. The smells and colours were almost palpable through the pages. Samantha has also absolutely brilliantly described the places, the beach, the sea, the tavernas and all the villagers, there was such a good and optimistic feeling to the story, the people felt so friendly, and the feeling of community was overwhelming. You know, my favourite film is „My Big, Fat Greek Wedding”, I could watch it every day, and so I pictured the villagers, together, in circles, shouting „Hopla” and offering you everything they had to eat and drink.

I also liked how Samantha wonderfully grasped the current atmosphere and the events. It is not a political book, oh my, not at all, yet she manages to sneak here or there some info about how it really is in Greece right now, without offending anybody. She writes how it is but with a great dose of subtlety and gentleness, and you can see that goodness of Taxos presses heavily on Pippa’s mind and the rest of the villagers. It was great to see how they gather together in the minute of need, and how they were able to put aside all the disagreements to save others when they were in danger.

So altogether, „Game of Scones” is a brilliant, feel good, delicious summery read. It has this incredible ability to transfer you into the places that you’d so like to see with your own eyes. It has vivid, popping out of the pages characters that you so quickly find yourself rooting for, and a nice plot. There are elements of romance, a little drama, a little corruption in the book and altogether it makes a quick, nice, smooth read. Samantha Tonge’s writing is from book to book better, wittier and more confident, and when picking her novel you are sure to be for a treat. Her writing is just so fluent and light, witty, and her stories are full of good feelings. She has a talent to create characters who has hearts made of gold but still feel so realistic, so true, and they evoke all kind of emotions in you. She has presented us with a quickly paced, lovely story with some twists and turns, a story that is going to keep you entertained and fell as if you’ve read it on the beach, under the sunshades.

 

Blog Tour: Food Glorious Food by Samantha Tonge / Guest Post

27 kwi

                                              Food Glorious Food

 

I admit it: Samantha Tonge is a complete foodie. From Doubting Abbey and its sequel From Paris with Love, to Mistletoe Mansion and now Game of Scones, food has always been a strong storyline in my books.

I once found a diary I wrote during a childhood holiday in Cornwall, and most of the descriptions were of the meals we ate out. Plus even now, when I’m recommending a place for someone to visit, like a museum or garden centre, usually the first comment I will make is how good the coffee shop is!

So where did this love of food come from?  As a young girl, I was lucky enough to see most of Europe, including Scandinavia, and Florida with my adventurous parents, and a large part of those travels centred on discovering amazing restaurants. I’ll never forget the towers of pancakes and sausages, dripping with maple syrup, in America, nor the huge tomatoes, crusty baguettes and mouthwatering pastries in the South of France.

I also had a mum who was a midday assistant in the local primary school. Every week she would bring home new recipes and try them out. Favourites were carrot cake and a whole range of desserts. Mum excelled at baking suet and sticky puddings and these memories inspired me to do lots of baking, when my own children were small.

In fact, it’s become something of a challenge, in my family, to come up with ever amazing celebratory cakes. When my daughter was about ten she made me a birthday one shaped like a pyramid. On another occasion, my son (young then) baked a wedding-cake style tower, made up of three tiers. Between us we’ve also had one in shape of a Mini car and a tall, layered one recently, stuffed full of blueberries.

Although baking, which I love writing about, has taken a different path for me in recent years, as my husband found out he must eat gluten-free. Gluten-free flour isn’t the best to work with, so it’s always exciting when I find a new recipe that works and doesn’t result in weird-tasting, gloopy sponge.

If you read Game of Scones, I hope you’ll enjoy the descriptions of colourful Greek salads and gooey Baklava. Scones feature heavily and in flavours you’d never have imagined. That’s why the main character, Pippa, loves them so much. As she says, scones are “like a blank canvas” – you can colour them in any way you want. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bio:

Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and two cats who think they are dogs. Along with writing, her days are spent cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child, when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath. A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at Disneyland Paris. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard. Writing romantic comedy novels and short stories is her passion.

Samantha has sold over 80 short stories to mainstream women’s magazines. Her debut romantic comedy novel from CarinaUK Harlequin, bestselling „Doubting Abbey”, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award, 2014. Its fun sequel is From Paris With Love. Mistletoe Mansion is a fun standalone Christmas novel.

 


http://samanthatonge.co.uk/


http://doubtingabbey.blogspot.co.uk/

 


https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter


https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaTongeAuthor


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Scones-deliciously-summery-read-ebook/dp/B00ULP98BQ/ref=la_B00FB6KDNC_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1427385329&sr=1-4


http://www.amazon.com/Game-Scones-deliciously-summery-read-ebook/dp/B00ULP98BQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427385827&sr=8-1&keywords=game+of+scones

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases, Blog Tour

 

Weekly Wrap Up #24

16 lis

Hi guys! How are you all doing on this windy November morning? can you see what I’m seeing? That it’s my 24th Weekly wrap Up??? 6 months??? Hellooooo… Not today, but am so going to summarize it at the end of the year, absolutely! It really helps me to keep a track on all the books, so that you Sam for this brilliant idea :)

wrap-up

BOOKS I HAVE RECEIVED/BOUGHT THIS WEEK/LAST WEEK

PAPERBACKS:

Sheila Roberts „On Strike for Christmas”

Sheila Roberts „Nine Lives of Christmas”

Sheila Roberts „The Snow Globe”

MJ Summers „Breaking Love”

MJ Summers „Break in Two”

Katie Fforde „A Christmas Feast”

Michele Gorman „The Curvy Girls Club”

 

KINDLE:

Fiona Gibson „How the In – Laws Wrecked  Christmas”

 

BOOKS THAT I READ THIS WEEK

„The Woman Who Stole My Life” - to be reviewed soon

„#Forfeit” - reviewed

„A Proper Family Christmas” - to be reviewed, but loved it, loved it, loved it. Did I say that I loved this book?

„How the In – Laws Wrecked Christmas” - to be reviewed soon

 

 Am reading right now:

„Christmas in the Snow” by Karen Swan and can’t put it down, Karen did it again, just went and wrote the next wonderful book!

„Humbugs and Heartstrings” by Catherine Ferguson

 

I reviewed this week:

Hard Time by Cara McKenna 4/5

Fashionably Yours by Swati Sharma 3/5

One Hundred Christmas Proposals by Holly Martin 5/5

#Forfeit by Caroline Batten 4/5

Mistletoe Mansion by Samantha Tonge 5/5

What a great week! And don’t forget that you can still WIN a copy of „#Forfeit” by Caroline Batten – open worldwide! See you all next week!

 
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Blog Tour: Mistletoe Mansion by Samantha Tonge / Guest Post + WIN A DRESS!

14 lis

7305225

            Christmas Spirit

 In Mistletoe Mansion, wannabe celebrity and aspiring cupcake maker Kimmy finds herself homeless and ends up housesitting a supposedly haunted mansion. And sure enough, she is not long there before she sees mysterious smoke, hears inexplicable music, feels drafts and one night is even attacked… It would seem that the rumours are true and eventually she asks for the assistance of SpiritShooters, a ghostbusting company, to see if they can rid the house of a mischievous presence.

But scary as the prospect of meeting ghosts is, wouldn’t it be nice to know that there was “something” out there, after we left this mortal coil? I’ve watched many an episode of Most Haunted but am yet to see anything to convince me 100% that deceased spirits walk this earth.

Nowadays, more than ever though, people seem to want to believe in the Supernatural. Since the release of Twilight there has been numerous books and movies produced about vampires, werewolves, angels, demons and so on. Perhaps historians will look back and decide it was because the Recession made life so hard that people longed for escapism even more – for the belief that if this life was difficult, at least there was the prospect of an exciting, glamorous one after death.  Who knows?

In Mistletoe Mansion Kimmy is determined to get to the bottom of the haunting. If the ghost is real, the good-hearted cupcake-maker wants to know why they are in limbo – wants to help them move on. Yet, for some reason, hunky handyman Luke makes this quest very difficult for her…

Have you ever had any spooky experiences? I think most of us have – some of us dismiss them, others wonder if immortality could be real. I was once given a message from someone who attended a spiritualist church, that a pair of trainers would prove very important. And sure enough, a year or so later, I met a new boyfriend – he was an avid runner. I bought a new pair of trainers and started running with him and for various reasons at the time, meeting that man turned my life around. We married and are still together.

Pure coincidence? Perhaps. I’ve spoken to other people who say messages from “the dead” are equally random and, at the time, can seem obscure. I’d like to think that when our physical body dies, out spirit – or soul, or whatever you want to call it – goes to a better place. It would be nice to live long enough to hear proof from scientists, one way or the other. But then that’s a challenge as huge as proving we are – or aren’t – alone in the universe!

All we can be – like Kimmy – is open-minded and then, like her, we might find that believing in ghosts has great benefits… or not! Enough said! If you do read Mistletoe Mansion, I hope you enjoy the spooky plotline. There is also plenty of baking, a peek into the celebrity lifestyle, plus, of course, a good dollop of romance to-boot!

 

Bio

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family, and two cats who think they are dogs. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Its fun standalone sequel is From Paris with Love. Mistletoe Mansion stars a new set of characters and is for fans of cupcakes and Christmas!

Blurb

Kimmy Jones has three loves: cupcakes, gossip magazines and dreaming of getting fit just by owning celeb workouts.

When Kimmy’s Sensible Boyfriend told her he didn’t approve of her longing for the high life or her dream of starting a cupcake company Kimmy thought she could compromise – after all, she did return those five-inch Paris Hilton heels! But asking her to trade in cake-making for a job sorting potatoes is a step too far.

So, newly single – and newly homeless – Kimmy needs a dusting of Christmas luck. And, masquerading as a professional house sitter, her new temporary home is the stunning Mistletoe Mansion. Soon she’s best buds with glamorous next door golf WAG Melissa, and orders are pouring in for her fabulous Merry Berry cupcakes! The only thorn in her side is handsome handyman Luke, a distraction she definitely doesn’t need. And talking of distractions, something very odd is going on at night…

Kimmy is finally living the life she’s always wanted. But will her glimpse into the glittering lifestyle of the rich and famous be as glamorous as she’s always imagined…?

 

Links

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaTongeAuthor

Website:
http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

Doubting abbey Blog:
http://doubtingabbey.blogspot.co.uk/

AmazonUK:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mistletoe-Mansion-Samantha-Tonge-ebook/dp/B00O56X3HM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412419104&sr=1-1&keywords=Mistletoe+mansion

 

AmazonUS:
http://www.amazon.com/Mistletoe-Mansion-Samantha-Tonge-ebook/dp/B00O56X3HM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412419236&sr=8-1&keywords=mistletoe+mansion